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Rio Paralympics: Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad dies in crash

Golbarnezhad received immediate treatment at the accident site but died of his injuries while being transported to hospital. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Sep 18, 2016, 12.36 AM (IST)
Iranian Paralympic cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad died Saturday after crashing in the C4-5 race. 

The 48-year-old athlete fell in the first section of a mountainous descent.

The International Paralympic Committee said the athlete received immediate treatment at the site but died of his injuries while being transported to hospital. 

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) spokesman Craig Spence told reporters, "The athlete received treatment at the scene and was in the process of being taken to the athlete hospital when he suffered a cardiac arrest. The ambulance then diverted to the nearby Unimed Rio Hospital in Barra where he passed away soon after arrival."

Paralympic officials broke the news to Golbarnezhad's family in Iran. His teammates too were shocked to hear the news during a meeting at the Athletes' Village.

"The Paralympic Family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy, which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games here in Rio," said IPC President Philip Craven, calling it a sad news for the sport. 

The Iranian flag was lowered to half-mast in the Paralympic Village to honour Golbarnezhad. A minute of silence will be held during Sunday's closing ceremony.

The cyclist, who wore a prosthesis on his left leg, took up the sport in 2002 and competed at the London 2012 Paralympics.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
 
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